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Syracuse Alumnus Instrumental in LIGO’s Third Detection of Gravitational Waves

Alex Nitz

Alex Nitz

June 1, 2017

An alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences has been instrumental in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)’s third detection of gravitational waves, demonstrating that a new window onto astronomy is fully open.

Alex Nitz G’15, who earned a Ph.D. in physics, helped detect the signal on Jan. 4, 2017, using a software package he began developing at Syracuse. As was the case with LIGO’s first two detections, the wave in question came from the merger of two black holes, resulting in the formation of a single larger black hole.

“We are extremely proud of Alex for helping detect the furthest binary black hole merger that LIGO has seen. These black holes are over 2.8 billion light-years away,” says Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Professor of Physics at Syracuse.